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IZEA Now Trades Publicly

The social media sponsorship pioneer, IZEA Holdings Inc. completed on 7/12/11 a merger transaction and the commencement of electronic stock trading under the symbol “IZEA” on the OTC Bulletin Board. Just a few months short from its 5 year anniversary, the Orlando, FL based company completed a major accomplishment as investors show an appetite for social media IPOs.

Earlier on 2011, Pandora (NYSE:P) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) went public. While techies are excited about these market developments, there is a growing concern about the sustainability of the social media models.

IZEA’s Business Model

According to Business Week, IZEA Holdings Inc. offers social media advertising, mobile advertising, and search engine optimization services through its marketplace platforms connecting social media publishers, such as bloggers, tweeters, and mobile application users.

IZEA’s business model is quite simple: they connect advertisers with content developers through its 4 platforms, Social Spark, Sponsored Tweets and WeReward. IZEA’s CEO and Chairman, Ted Murphy reported that his company  has completed over two million social media sponsorships for customers ranging from small local businesses to Fortune 50 organizations. Here is a description of each of IZEA’s platforms. is a social media marketing platform that allows advertisers to develop lists of blogs based on various criteria, such as relevancy, traffic, and demographic data. is an online marketplace for consumers to connect directly with advertisers to engage in sponsored conversations. Through you can get celebrities such as Tyrese  to tweet about your product to his over 1.5 million followers for a cool $4,550.00. There is a wide range of celebrities for every budget, if you cannot afford Tyresse there are C and D list celebrities such as Lance Bass (former pop star) to tweet about your brand to his  104,288 followers for just $134.33!. is a mobile incentive platform that allows business owners to drive purchases and reward loyalty from customers through Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Under this reward system, every 1 point can be redeemed for $0.01.


IZEA does a good job at creating various avenues for monetization of content and is always trying out new ideas. Additional platforms from IZEA are and, which are online marketplaces designed to facilitate search engine optimization efforts. The distribution of social media sponsorships was once considered controversial but has now been fully embraced by celebrities. This in turn further fuels the dot-com millionaire dreams of many and validates the company’s business model sustainability in the short term.

By Damian Davila, business and marketing blogger at Follow him on Twitter at

Posted in Social Startups. Tags: , , , , , , ,

6 Replies

  1. I never would have thought that there was such a thing a sponsored tweets. I wonder how many followers realize what is going on?

  2. is great, really good models, thanks

  3. So cool! Thanks for sharing. I had no idea. I’m an investment fanatic and will check this out for sure. Congrats, Izea!
    Facebook is going public as well soon. Should be interesting to see how much it will be worth.

  4. @Ella, IZEA made big headlines as it was pushing sponsored tweets a lot and the early Twitter adopters did not like it because it was not that transparent what celebrities were doing it or not. Nowadays is much more transparent. Kim Kardashian and Snoop Dogg are among the top users that get paid the most.

    @Erin and Anita If you want to try out WeReward on your smartphone please use this link http://we.rew/uO9y I would really appreciate it. Best of luck!

  5. Hi there, Damian,
    interesting insight about IZEA business model. I like their idea of monetization of contents. Having over two million social media sponsorships for customers sure adds value to it.

  6. Hi Kristina, they got a very profitable model indeed. Very transparent in what they do.

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